When we think about air pollution, we don’t usually think about the air running through our home. As we spend a good amount of time indoors, taking steps to improve and maintain home air quality is fundamental to our well-being. In a 2007 report, 9 out of 10 American homes are breathing unhealthy indoor air. Follow along as we go through how to reduce air pollution in your home.
Poor Air Quality Symptoms
The air is made up of tiny particles, so it’s difficult to directly see how good or bad the air quality is inside your home. Symptoms of poor air quality indoors include:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Exacerbated asthma allergies
Long-term health effects can include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. These usually show up years after exposure has occurred.
How to Test Indoor Air Quality
If you experience any of the symptoms above, have a new home, or feel like you need to take better care of your living space, purchase an air quality monitor. This is a helpful and portable device that guides you on how to test indoor air quality. It checks the levels of dust, allergens, pollutants, humidity, and temperature inside your home in real-time.
There are various monitors available on the market that detect and log the air activity inside your home over time. Many even connect with your mobile devices to provide you with convenient and current alerts.
Avoid Poor Air Quality: Helpful Steps
There are several key tips to keep in mind when looking after your home air quality.
Keep Your Home Clean
A lot of the poor air quality that forms in your house is due to the dust and mites that accumulate over time. Be sure to regularly clean your home by sweeping hard floors, vacuuming rugs and carpets, wiping off tabletops and items, and washing your bedding and drapes. If your home is mostly carpeted, consider switching to hardwood floors to cut down on allergens.
You should also be very careful about the types of cleaning supplies you use. Avoid cleaners that have VOCs, or volatile organic compounds that release hazardous chemicals. Some of the cleaning products that can carry VOCs are aerosol sprays, air fresheners, furniture and floor products, and more.
Even items that are deemed to be “all-natural” carry VOCs. So be sure to pay close attention when purchasing cleaning items.
Get an Air Purifier
Air purifiers consist of a filter and a fan that sucks and traps pollutants and particles and pushes out clean air into your house. This helps minimize indoor allergens that may trigger your allergies. Consider also purchasing a dehumidifier for damp areas around the home such as your basement or bathroom to prevent mold build-up.
Change Your Filters
If you have an HVAC system in your house, be sure to regularly change its filters. The reason air filters exist is to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC equipment.
When your filter gets clogged, dust and dirt reach into the heating furnace itself. Not only does this cause damage, but it also circulates harmful components around your home. Energy Star advises that you inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Filter
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause adverse health effects—such as confusion, memory loss, and even death—when you are exposed to high levels. Poorly ventilated household appliances such as gas stoves and refrigerators cause accidental exposures to CO. Be sure that your home has a carbon monoxide detector to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Avoid Smoking Indoors
It should be no surprise that smoking harms the air quality of your living space. The residual gas and particles that settle in a room, especially with rugs or carpet, bring health hazards. Ventilation and/or filters can only reduce, but not eliminate, the effects of smoking in your home.
Taking these steps to get rid of poor air quality will create a safer and healthier environment. Your home should be your haven—not a toxin-infested zone.
Start making greener choices today by contacting Kiwi Energy. Our efficient and friendly customer service team will help you create a sustainable energy future by reducing your carbon footprint.